Latino Leaders Network

We are 94-56 with 12 remaining and once again, what was our record last season with 12 remaining?

Commentary remembers the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings and Anita Hill stepping forward. What is the biggest difference between now and then? Commentary would have to say journalists now have more tools to find the facts and the truth. I am already reading more stuff this morning on this Kavanaugh fella, thanks to journalists.

Seven weeks until Election Day.

Commentary will be attending a luncheon this Friday being held by the Latino Leaders Network. Here is their slogan from their website:

Bringing Leaders Together 

Here is who they are featuring at the luncheon and also from their website:

Alfredo Corchado 

Journalist and Author 

Journalist and author Alfredo Corchado has not only approached the dark roads of the international drug trade through his prize—winning reports and nonfiction work.  With his new book, “Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration,” Corchado has dived into another leading issue the United States and Mexico face today- immigration.  

Although Corchado was born in Durango, Mexico, he grew up in the San Joaquin Valley, California fields after his family decided to join his father in the picking of fruits.  How he later became a leading reporter on national security and immigration issues is a question the world has come to embrace.  

Alfredo Corchado graduated from the University of Texas and El Paso Community College in 1987.  In 2009, he became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and has worked for the Dallas Morning News since 1994.  As Chief of the Mexican Bureau, Mr. Corchado covers how US policy affects Latin America and specializes in the country of Mexico.  Corchado has also worked for The News in Cuba where prior to this position, worked for El Paso Herald-Post, Wall Street Journal, Public Radio, and the Ogden Standard-Examiner. 

Corchado has received numerous awards including the Maria Moors Cabot which is a prestigious award that is considered the Pulitzer Prize for newsgathering and reporting in Latin American.  Columbia University awarded him this prize.  From Colby College, Corchado also received the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Journalism Award and served as a scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center at Harvard University in 2010.

Alfredo Corchado’s first book “Midnight in Mexico” was released in 2013.  His second book “Homelands” has been released this 2018 year.  

Thanks for the invitation and I am really looking forward to the luncheon.

With 12 games remaining in our 2017 season, the Astros were 92-58 of course.

4 games up and I don’t want to talk about how we lost last night.


Magic Numbers

There are 21 members on the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Senate. 11 GOPers and 10 Dems. 2 of the GOPers are from Texas. It ought to be an interesting week in the Lone Star State.

Justin Verlander has 269 strikeouts and Gerrit Cole has 260. When was the last time an Astros pitcher had 200 plus strikeouts in a season?

The magic number to clinch the AL West for the Astros is 9. Now what the heck is a magic number you ask? This is what is on the internet:

“the number that, at a late stage in the season, signifies the combination of wins for the first-place team and losses for another team that will allow the former to end the season alone in first place.”

Here is how Commentary figures it out. The Astros are 94-55. The second place A’s are 90-60. The A’s have 12 games left. If they win all their remaining games, they will end up at 102-60. If we win 9 games, we will end up at 103 total wins to the A’s 102. Tada! The magic number. Got it?

Commentary thinks Sen. Ted Cruz folks are creating fake rage to gin up their turnout. I am talking about outrage over Willie Nelson doing a gig for #BetoForTexas.

Commentary was a Sen. Ted Kennedy delegate at the 1980 Democratic National Convention held at Madison Square Garden. One evening session, Willie Nelson led off the proceedings by singing the National Anthem, well sort of. Here is from the LA Times:

Wearing a black T-shirt, running shoes and his signature red-kerchief headband, country music star Willie Nelson sang an edited version of the anthem at the 1980 Democratic National Convention in Madison Square Garden. He left out “rockets’ red glare,” avoided the high notes and twisted a few phrases. Most of the delegates, especially those from Nelson’s home state of Texas, didn’t seem to mind, however.

I remember Willie signing that version well. Let’s say, 38 years ago, maybe? I really don’t think his politics have shifted too far right since then.

H-Town City Council Member Dave Martin, who is also Chair of the Council Committee on Budget and Finance, says he has asked Marty Lancton, President of the Firefighters Local 341, to testify before his committee and explain the finances of their Prop B. Marty hasn’t taken CM Martin up on his invitation.

Maybe CM Martin will settle for Marty’s Op-Ed which was in yesterday’s Chron here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Vote-for-Prop-B-to-give-Houston-firefighters-the-13232552.php.

How about this tweet:


Brian McTaggart‏ @brianmctaggart 1h1 hour ago

4m4 minutes ago


Astros are 94-55, so they need to go 6-7 to win 100 games, 7-6 to match last year’s record, 8-5 to tie franchise record of 102 wins and 9-4 to break it.

Dallas Keuchel in 2015, the season he won the Cy Young Award, had 216 strikeouts of course.

4 ½ game lead with 13 remaining. 6 homies and 7 roadies. Replica rings tonight!


Not Fooled

Alex Bregman has 100 RBIs. Who was the first Astro to ever have 100 RBIs in a season?

The folks who run the Chron Opinion pages put out the funniest headline for an Op-Ed by a longtime GOPer, former state representative and staffer to President Bush 41, Chase Untermeyer. Here is the headline:

GOP values and standards need a champion, and it isn’t Trump [Opinion]

Chuckle, chuckle. The GOP doesn’t have values! Don’t even go bother to read the BS piece. What a joke!

Do take a look at a #TXCD7 piece in the Chron by George Will today here: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Will-In-Houston-a-Democratic-template-for-13228092.php.

My friend State Rep. Garnet Coleman endorsed Harris County Judge Ed Emmett yesterday. I sure hope other Dems don’t follow Garnet. Here is from the Chron:

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett used his annual State of the County address to hail the progress in emergency preparedness the region has made since Hurricane Ike, which made landfall 10 years ago Thursday.

Emmett praised Houston and Harris County officials for working closely during and after Hurricane Harvey a year ago, lauded the passage of a $2.5 billion flood infrastructure bond in August and said more must be done to protect against the future storms that are certain to wallop the county in years to come.

“Although the past year has seen Harris County focus on recovery from Harvey, I believe we have turned the corner and are now focused on the future,” Emmett said to more than 1,000 attendees during his lunchtime speech at NRG Center.

And this:

His opponent, 27-year-old political newcomer Lina Hidalgo, argues that Harris County failed to invest enough in flood protection in the years preceding Harvey.

Should more Democrats than Republicans turn out in Harris County in the midterm elections, as they did in the 2016 general election, Emmett’s coalition must include Democrats who are willing to vote across party lines.

Democratic state Rep. Garnet Coleman endorsed Emmett at the luncheon, and said the judge deserved support for making decisions to help the county manage flooding.

Here is the entire read: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/politics/houston/article/Judge-Emmett-13226588.php.

Really! The H-Town area has had issues with flooding since the beginning. Harvey was nature’s way of calling us out and demanding that we do something. So, please, let’s not make Judge Emmett into some sort of hero. It was about time. Even the folks who run the Chron Opinion page have said Emmett has been part of the problem.

A lot of folks have been critical of GOP national leaders for letting Donald Trump get away with his racial and hateful policies and rhetoric. Why can’t we be critical of local GOPer like Judge Emmett for being silent while baby jails are being assembled right down the street from his office?

Don’t be fooled, folks!

I was at the Tejano Democrats meeting last night and toward the end of the meeting an attendee asked if the group was going to take a position on the H-Town Firefighters Prop B initiative. A brief debate ensued. A pro Prop B attendee informed us that a sinister type of social media tactic was in the works to discredit Firefighters and the initiative – interesting. Stay tuned!

Commentary had the flat screen on yesterday on CNN and I noticed that Chris Cuomo – who was reporting from North Carolina on the hurricane – had a cap on that read “Cuomo.” I couldn’t read the smaller lettering on the cap but thought that it must be the name of his show – “Cuomo Prime Time.” Regardless, on the day voters in New York were going to vote in their primary where his brother was on the ballot, I thought Chris Cuomo would probably get social media blowback for wearing the hat. I was right. He later put on a CNN lid.

Jimmy Wynn of course was the first Astro to hit the 100 RBI mark with 107 in 1967.

3 ½ game lead as we host the D-Backs at The Yard this weekend.


Yesterday, Alex Bregman became the 19th MLBer to smack 30 dingers and 50 doubles in a season. Name the MLBer who first accomplished this feat back in 1927?

Ike made landfall on this day 10 years ago.

I saw this tweet yesterday:

Chief Art Acevedo‏ @ArtAcevedo 3h3 hours ago
Replying to @FirefightersHOU @KrisBanks @SylvesterTurner

Our police officers negotiated throughout the years (not in one swoop as you want which, in-fact, will put the city and taxpayers we serve in a hole). Your President needs to come to the town hall meetings and address the taxpayers directly.

I don’t think the Chief calling out Marty is sitting well with the folks over on Freeman Street. Just saying.

At an event on the day of the City of H-Town’s birthday last month, the Chief was asked what he wanted the City to get for its birthday. The Chief replied something along the lines of removing the City of H-Town’s revenue cap, so we could hire more police officers.

The H-Town Firefighters went out and got signatures to get their pay raises put on the ballot.

Commentary is thinking the reason we aren’t voting on removing the revenue cap this November is because H-Town voters probably would not be in the mood to support a removal.

From the wacko department, see this from the Chron:

As Hurricane Florence approached the Carolinas, the president picked a fresh fight over the administration’s response in Puerto Rico, tweeting: “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000.”

Trump added: “This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico.”

Puerto Rico’s governor last month raised the U.S. territory’s official death toll from Hurricane Maria from 64 to 2,975 after an independent study found that the number of people who succumbed in the sweltering aftermath had been severely undercounted.

This also may happen. See this from the Trib: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/09/13/texas-senate-republican-supermajority/.

Desperate times, desperate measures. All you need to do is read the headline from this story:

Rudy Giuliani to headline Pete Sessions fundraiser

See this tweet about scoreboard watching:

Brian McTaggart‏ @brianmctaggart 3h3 hours ago

Astros need to go 8-8 to win 100 games. 10-6 would tie club-record 102 wins (1998).

The great Lou Gehrig of course was the first when he smacked 47 dingers and 52 doubles in 1927.

On September 11, 2008, as Ike was moving toward the H-Town region, I went to The Yard to catch the Astros and the Pirates. The team reported attendance at 31,000 plus. Nope! That’s how many tickets they sold. There were probably around 10,000 folks at The Yard. The team was short on staff because a lot of workers had headed out of town. A lot of the concession areas were closed.

3 games up on the A’s with 16 remaining. We have 7 roadies remaining, the A’s have 10 roadies remaining.

Sen. Cornyn’s Shift

The Astros now have 91 wins. How many times in team franchise history has the team won 90 or more games in a season?

Let me say that Bill King has been studying, analyzing, commenting, writing and talking about City of H-Town finances longer than anyone in these parts. He pretty much has established a body of work on this subject with his takes. I would say he is one of the most knowledgeable folks out there when it comes to City of H-Town finances.

Bill has weighed in of sorts on the H-Town Firefighters Prop B initiative. Commentary chuckles when folks pull out some of Bill’s past takes and try to gotcha him. I don’t have a problem with that as long as folks consider all of his past takes.

After all, years ago Bill started warning us about stuff while others were saying Bill didn’t know what he was talking about and guess what? Bill knew what he was talking about.  Just saying.

Meanwhile, Pasadena Mayor Jeff Wagner isn’t messing around. See this from Chron.com:

The city of Pasadena is considering a tax rate increase of 4 cents per $100 valuation, but a few council members are arguing that the city can avoid the hike by cutting expenses and even provide a 3 percent raise for employees.

Two public hearings are scheduled before City Council can vote on the proposed rate, which would be 61.5 cents per $100 valuation.

And this:

City Councilman Phil Cayten has said the rate increase is needed to fund city services.

“A Property Tax rate increase for the City of Pasadena is long overdue,” Cayten said in a written statement. “Our Property Tax rate of $.575388 per $100.00 value has averaged the same rate for the past 35 years.”

For a home valued at $200,000 in 2017, a homeowner would pay $1,150 in taxes to the city under that rate, excluding any homestead or senior exemptions. If the proposed tax rate of 61.5 cents is approved and the home’s value stays the same, the city tax bill for same home would be $1,230, an increase of $80.

And finally, this:

Cayten noted that other area cities have increased their tax rates over the years.

“Everything it takes to run a city has gone up tremendously over the past 35 years, such as: Cost of employee salaries, employee insurance police cars, fire trucks, construction equipment, gasoline, electricity, and construction materials, etc,” Cayten said.

Like I said, not messing around.

Remember when Sen. John Cornyn said this about #BetoForTexas last year?

“Beto is going to give him a run, but I don’t think he’s got a chance,” said Cornyn.

This is from a Politico Story today about “BetoForTexas and Sen. Ted Cruz:

“We’re not bluffing, this is real, and it is a serious threat,” Cornyn said. 

A significant shift in attitude by Sen. Cornyn for sure.

Commentary is not surprised by this story. Check this:

Republicans have grown increasingly worried about losing control of the Senate, as President Trump’s approval rating tumbles and Democrats gain steam in key battleground races.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday sounded some of the most doubtful notes of Trump’s presidency that Republicans will keep the upper chamber of Congress, telling reporters, “I hope when the smoke clears, we’ll still have a majority.”

His comments came as Republican strategists and officials fretted over a fresh round of private polling on the Senate races, while public polls registered further erosion in Americans’ approval of Trump. “Shipwreck” was how one leading strategist described the situation, adding an expletive to underscore the severity of the party’s problems.

One of the most unexpected fights is in reliably GOP Texas, where Sen. Ted Cruz is trying to fend off Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke. Republicans are so fearful about losing the seat that they are diverting resources to Texas, a sore point in the White House after the animosity between Cruz and Trump in the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

Here is the entire story: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/%e2%80%98shipwreck%e2%80%99-gop-grows-fearful-about-losing-senate-as-candidates-struggle-trump-support-tumbles/ar-BBNcGdp?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=UE01DHP.

I have told folks privately that a Dem U.S. Senate majority could very well happen on November 6.

This will be the eighth time in franchise history that we hit the 90 plus win mark of course.

A 3 game lead with 17 left on the schedule and a noon start today.


Seventeen Years Ago

We remember.

Never forget.

It was on a Tuesday.

I was at a Mayor Lee Brown Campaign Reelection Executive Committee Meeting at the Hyatt Downtown when we got word.

Before September 11, we never used to sing “God Bless America” at The Yard. Now we sing it on Sundays and on holidays.

Before September 11, NFL football players would come out on the field after the playing of the National Anthem.

Before September 11, hardly anyone sung the words of the National Anthem at sporting events. Some things never change.

Rudy Giuliani has certainly changed.

I guess this is why I subscribe. See this:

A note to readers from the editor of the Houston Chronicle

(This is also at the bottom of Page A3 in today’s hard copy)

In these challenging times for our country, with journalism and journalists often under attack, trust between a newspaper and its readers is absolutely essential.

We spend our days trying to ferret out the truth on school quality, taxes, development, the root causes of flooding, or why, as we reported Sunday, Houston is the deadliest city in America for driving.

We ask that you trust us that we’ve done everything we can to ensure what we’ve told you is fair and accurate. For that reason, I want to be completely transparent with readers and tell you that we have launched an investigation into the work of one of our own reporters.

Recently, another Houston Chronicle journalist flagged me with questions about the accuracy of a story written by veteran Austin reporter Mike Ward. Ward joined the Chronicle in 2014 after a long career with the Austin American-Statesman. Specifically, questions were raised about whether individuals quoted in one of his stories were real people.

Our own researchers, after an initial review, had difficulty finding a number of sources cited in Ward’s most recent reports.

Ward has insisted that his work was truthful, that his work involved real people, and that we would eventually find the individuals behind his “man-on-the-street” interviews. However, given the questions this review raised, he offered to resign and I accepted that resignation last week. If we were in another business, that might be enough.

As a journalism organization, we owe the public more. We owe our readers the truth and to tell you if, in fact, there were inaccuracies in anything we published. We simply do not know the full story yet.

To help us ferret this out, we have hired an independent, highly respected journalist to review Ward’s work for the last year, or further, if necessary, and determine whether any reporting transgressions occurred. We have given that journalist full access to our archives and promised access to our editors as well. Investigative work takes time, and it can be tedious. Tracking down and verifying sources, especially across a year or more of work, requires significant legwork.

And above all else, we need to be fair — to Ward, to our readers, and to other journalists concerned about their own reputations.

When this investigation is complete, we will publish a full accounting of our findings.

We owe our readers nothing less.

Nancy Barnes
Executive Editor

Wow! Stay tuned for sure.

There are Vote for H-Town Firefighters Prop B yard signs on my street. Just saying.

Last season, after 144 games, we were 87-57 with 18 games remaining, 9 at The Yard and 9 on the road, with 3 against a contender – at Fenway.

This season, after 144 games, we are 90-54 with 18 games remaining, 9 at The Yard and 9 on the road, with 6 against contenders, 3 with the D-Backs and 3 with the Mariners – both at The Yard.

Our lead is now 3 games. Got it?


Out of Control

We very well could see the Red Sox in the playoffs again next month. Including last season’s ALDS, what is our record against the Red Sox over the past two seasons?

“OUT OF CONTROL” was the headline on the Chron’s hard copy front page yesterday and accompanied by two front page stores on the H-Town region leading the country in traffic fatalities.

Sad to say, but that is also who we are. It is hard to argue with the facts and stats. The more roads and parkways we build, the more freeways we expand, bad things are going happen. Then there are these folks. How many times have you slowed down for a yellow light while somebody in the next lane gunned it and ran through a red light?

My phone gizmo has an app that doesn’t allow me to text or receive texts while I am driving. Maybe they ought to make that mandatory. It can’t hurt.

From Tim Bacon on Bill King supporting the Firefighters Prop B:

King’s latest is a campaign piece. Long winded, but that’s King’s style. He still wants to be mayor. The Mayor, on the other hand, wants to be re-elected. Nonetheless, he is doing what is best for the city. He’s out talking reality to any group he can find. This may cost him his job, but he’s out there anyway. My guess is the firefighters will win, but Houston will lose.

Commentary likes President Obama, but I am not waiting for him to save the day for Dems. That train has already left the station. I watched President Obama’s speech last week and it was a good one, but Dems are already enthused. We’ve been enthused.

One of Donald Trump’s top staffers told GOP donors this past weekend that Sen. Ted Cruz could lose his reelection bid because he’s not likeable. Try telling us something we don’t know. Also, try adding because a lot of folks don’t respect him either. Sen Cruz only cares about Sen. Cruz.

Here is from Kuffer on the Trump staffer:

I mean, Mick Mulvaney is himself about as likable as a case of athlete’s foot, so this is really saying something. I’m not sure what I love more, that people feel so free to insult Ted Cruz, or that people feel so free to record such insults and leak them to reporters so the rest of us can enjoy it as well. Or maybe Mulvaney just internalized the lesson that Donald Trump taught us all, that the way to earn Ted Cruz’s affection and loyalty is to treat him like garbage. Has Mulvaney tweeted about Mrs. Cruz being ugly yet? That’s got to be next.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=87647.

Commentary went to the Pasadena Rodeo Parade Saturday morning. There sure were a lot of folks along the parade route. Mostly of the Latino persuasion. Heck, over two thirds of Pasadena is Latino.

Somebody put this on Next Door yesterday and a lot of folks replied with takes:

Los Cucos fail

So when you spend $50 on takeout order of fajitas for two and they forget the tortillas, shouldn’t they be responsible for delivering them? #LostACustomer

I picked up an order of menudo at Spanish Flower yesterday. Looked in the bag when they handed it to me: menudo, check, flower tortillas, check, hot sauce, check, tortilla chips, check, limes, check, chopped onions, check, chopped peppers, check. Not hard to do, folks.

Check these tweets:

ChronAstros Retweeted

Chandler Rome‏@Chandler_Rome 2h2 hours ago

Alex Bregman is the only player in Astros history to hit 30 home runs in a season prior to turning 25.

And this about Fenway:

Jeff Syptak liked

Mark Berman‏@MarkBermanFox26 6h6 hours ago


Red Sox play-by-play announcer during Boston’s broadcast: “There are so many orange shirts in the stands it’s ridiculous.”

Over the past two seasons, the Astros are 11-7 versus the Red Sox of course.

About a month or so ago, I told my best friend and a couple of other folks that if we met the Red Sox in the ALCS in October, they would take us in five or six. I am not thinking that these days.

2 ½ game AL West lead with 19 remaining.